Bouncing Back From Adversity

By Bryan Golden

There may be a time in your life, perhaps more than one, when you hit bottom. It may feel as if your situation can’t get any worse. There may be one event that stresses you out or a cumulative series of circumstances.

Regardless of the cause, if you hit bottom you can bounce back. But you have to believe you can and you have to want to. Although this appears to be obvious, there are people who don’t think it’s possible to get back up or do not have the drive to do so.


Hitting bottom is emotionally and physically draining. You may find yourself devoid of ambition or lacking enthusiasm. Staying at the bottom, wallowing in self-pity, is not an option. Regardless of why you hit bottom, or how long you have been there, you need to immediately begin the process of bouncing back.

Bouncing back involves several components: desire, determination, action, perseverance, and an open mind. The process starts with desire. You have to want to improve your situation. If you don’t, you won’t. Saying something to yourself similar to, “I guess it would be nice if things were better but I don’t know if it’s possible,” will not work. You mindset must be, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to improve where I am and how I feel.”

Next you need a plan. A clearly defined and understood set of steps is essential. You don’t have to formulate a plan on your own. Being at the bottom can impact your perspective along with the ability to think clearly. Look to people who have gotten themselves out of the same predicament you are facing. You can learn a lot from them as to what strategies are most effective.

Devise as many steps as necessary. Each one needs to be small enough to avoid being overwhelming. There is a natural tendency to avoid tasks that are too large. A plan with steps you won’t take is of no value.

Now you are ready for action. Begin with the first step in your plan. No step is too small. Getting started is the key. The slightest bit of forward progress is significant. Give yourself credit for each accomplishment. Without action, nothing happens. If you stop, all progress ceases.

Bouncing back takes effort but suffering is no picnic either. Since whatever path you take requires energy, it makes sense to choose a course which will lead you to a desirable destination. The more effort you put into implementing your plan, the more effective you will be.

You are not going to bounce back in one step. The journey is a progression that takes place one step at a time. Patience is required. Frustration is a common component of the process. Giving up is not an option. Persistence is the key to getting to where you want to be.

You may experience setbacks. It doesn’t matter. Pick yourself up and get back on track. Concentrate on your destination rather than your current situation. Forward is the only direction that’s important.

You can bounce back from hitting bottom. People do it all the time. You need desire, a plan, and then action. There is no magic involved. When you find yourself at a low point, it’s only a detour, not a final destination. It is never too late to change direction.

Bryan is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.” Visit or your bookstore. Bryan is a self-development expert, syndicated columnist, and professor. E-mail Bryan at (c)2011 Bryan Golden

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